Literally meaning the land of Afghans, Afghanistan has beautifully held on to the culture and traditions of the Pashtun people. There is history at every foot-step as each of the dynasties here has left behind many interesting stories hidden for people to explore. An Afghanistan travel guide will always mention the warmth that people here are known for apart from the beautiful terrains and the delectable dishes that make up the Afghan cuisine. Even though political unrest sometimes gets in the way, but Afghanistan is definitely one of the most beautiful land locked countries to visit. Here are a few pointers that you can keep in mind while planning a trip to Afghanistan.
The visa for Indian nationals who are intending to visit Afghanistan is completely free of cost. The embassy of Afghanistan has not hired any travel agents, so it is always better to apply through the right channels. There are three types of visas that you can get- Entry Visa, Tourist Visa and Business Visa. While looking at an Afghanistan trip planner, you can keep in mind that a Tourist Visa can be extended through the embassy for one month once. The cost of the visas along with the documents required and the procedure is elaborated upon on the Afghan Embassy website.
Even though safety is always a question of concern, this can be avoided if you have a trusted local guide accompanying you at all times. Weather wise Afghanistan is divided into four seasons. The best time to visit Afghanistan is during the Spring season (March through May), when Narouz takes place(Afghan new year) and the entire country is adorned by overflowing rivers and snow scape. If you want to avoid the cold and want to see the most beautiful of landscapes, then autumn (October to November) is also a great time to visit. Flights to Afghanistan are never expensive as such, due to the lack of abundant tourism activity.
Here is a short list of things to do and places to see in Afghanistan while you plan your vacation. Kabul Nightlife, Palaces, Museums, Shopping complexes should definitely be included in your itinerary. Apart from this you can visit Bamyan for its culture and Buddhism influence, Kandahar for its association with Alexander and skiing, Band-E-Amir National park if you love nature and Ghazni for history and Islamic art.
Afghanistan has two international airports; one in Kabul- one in Kandahar. So if you are wondering how to reach Afghanistan, then you will have to take a flight to Kabul. The local transport system is not very efficient and you will see a lot of trucks and carts carrying mass produce along with people around you. Even the buses are swamped with women riding in front, separated from the men. There are about 48 airports in Afghanistan and three internal Airlines operating from here.
Most accommodation options here are generally mid-range of budget options. No Afghanistan travel guide consists of many luxury options in cities apart from Kabul and it is in general a good idea to book your hotels in advance. The accommodation cost can range from 30 USD a night for a decent place to 150 USD for a great luxury option in cities like Kabul and Kandahar.
Afghan cuisine is delicious in general and the main dish here is the Kabuli Pulav which has become famous across the globe now. Apart from this, the Naan is the most frequently used bread in all the meals. The homemade sweets, lamb and meat are made in different gravies. These are all the main points that you need to cover while planning your trip to Afghanistan.